USTR: ‘Substantial Progress’ Made on U.S.-Korea Trade Pact

By December 3, 2010Trade

A flurry of news reports this morning about a deal being reached between U.S. and South Korean negotiators on a free trade negotiation.

U.S. Trade Representative’s Office:

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk made the following statement on Friday morning in Columbia, Maryland, at the conclusion of meetings with Korean Minister for Trade Kim Jong-hoon to discuss issues related to the U.S.-Korea trade agreement.

“We’ve made substantial progress in our discussions. It’s time now for the leaders to review this progress before we move forward.”

From The Hill, “U.S. cites ‘substantial progress’ in trade talks amid report of possible deal“:

President Obama’s trade chief says the U.S. and South Korea have made progress but stopped short of announcing a trade deal.

In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he and Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon had made “substantial progress” and that it was time for leaders to review their work “before we move forward.”

Kirk spoke after South Korean media reported a possible deal between the two sides. The Yonhap News Agency, quoting the South Korean embassy, reported the two sides had reached “a substantial outcome.”

Yonhap News Agency (Korea), “S. Korea, U.S. reach deal on FTA: embassy“:
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) — South Korea and the United States have reached a deal on a free trade agreement (FTA) pending for more than three years over U.S. demands for wider access to the South Korean auto and beef markets, the South Korean embassy here said Friday.

“We’ve produced a substantial outcome on the autos and other limited areas during the ongoing talks,” the embassy said in a statement. “A final announcement will be made after the delegations reported outcome to their respective governments for confirmation.”

The chief South Korean trade negotiator will leave for Seoul early Friday after concluding the fourth and final day of talks on a free trade deal with the United States here, a South Korean official said.

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